Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Managing imbalanced supply chain relationships for sustainability: A power perspective

Touboulic, Anne ORCID:, Chicksand, Daniel and Walker, Helen ORCID: 2014. Managing imbalanced supply chain relationships for sustainability: A power perspective. Decision Sciences 45 (4) , pp. 577-619. 10.1111/deci.12087

[thumbnail of WALKER managing imbalanced supply chain relationships for sustainability a power perspective.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (432kB) | Preview


This study adopts a power perspective to investigate sustainable supply chain relationships and specifically uses resource dependence theory (RDT) to critically analyze buyer–supplier–supplier relationships. Empirical evidence is provided, extending the RDT model in this context. The concept of power relationships is explored through a qualitative study of a multinational company and agricultural growers in the UK food industry that work together to implement sustainable practices. We look at multiple triadic relationships involving a large buyer and its small suppliers to investigate how relative power affects the implementation of sustainable supply-management practices. The study highlights that power as dependence is relevant to understanding compliance in sustainable supply chains and to identifying appropriate relationship-management strategies to build more sustainable supply chains. We show the influences of power on how players manage their relationships and how it affects organizational responses to the implementation of sustainability initiatives. Power notably influences the sharing of sustainability-related risks and value between supply chain partners. From a managerial perspective, the study contributes to developing a better understanding of how power can become an effective way to achieve sustainability goals. This paper offers insights into the way in which a large organization works with small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to implement sustainable practices and shows how power management—that is, the way in which power is used—can support or hinder effective cooperation around sustainability in the supply chain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Additional Information: This article reports on findings from a three-year research project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Pdf uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s policy at (accessed 01/12/2014).
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0011-7315
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 25 October 2013
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 16:17

Citation Data

Cited 84 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics